Addressable TV is the capability to display different ads to different households in the one media. It has been rapidly gaining traction in recent years, with Australia becoming something of a pioneer in the sector. Not only have many industry players launched addressable TV offerings, but advanced planning tools from companies, such as Finecast, have also boosted granular media buying capability across online and offline screens. And with 14 million addressable-capable devices due to be in use by next year, the TV revolution will continue creating opportunities for relevant, quality ad delivery at scale.
But what does all this disruption mean in 2019?
1. The Dawn of Tailored TV
While TV is as popular as ever — keeping viewers hooked for two-and-a-half hours per day — it’s function in the living room has changed. For a third of Australians (31%), smart TVs are the entertainment medium of choice: mostly because they turn the big screen into a portal for accessing varied premium content, from catch-up programming to over-the-top (OTT) streaming services. This change in viewing habits is reflected in how advertisers allocate their budget. A recent IAB AU report found the digital video advertising market to have risen 26.2% in 2018 compared to 2017, totalling over $1.3 million. Networks aware of the shift in consumption are embracing broadcast video on demand (BOVD), which in turn increases the availability of addressable TV inventory.
Addressable advertising around live streaming in the ANZ region is another growing opportunity within the digital video ecosystem. The IAB AU reports 69% of Australia’s digital video audience live streamed video last year, in comparison to 65% in the US. Sports, events and concerts are most commonly consumed live, while eSports is growing in popularity, amassing 33% of Australia’s digital video audience in 2018. This paves the way for new advertising opportunities.
If networks combine this addressable inventory with the rise in cross-channel planning solutions, marketers can achieve refined TV targeting on a national scale. Addressable platforms that collate data from connected screens to instantly match ads with what viewers are watching will soon make real-time tailoring the TV norm, bolstering ad relevance and results.
2. Boost for Localised Content
Core to the appeal of addressable is its ability to leverage a mix of third and first-party data; especially authenticated data produced by logged-in BVOD users. This information not only contains viewing records that offer insight into unique interests and preferences, but also geographic location. And with stores of such insight continually rising, marketers can deliver ads with pinpoint precision, right down to specific households.
Highly valuable at a country-level, with about 200 languages spoken across Australia, data can also be merged with insights about the behaviour of international users to give global campaigns a local edge. With messages carefully selected to suit the particular needs, cultural nuances, and linguistic attributes of audiences in every region, marketers will be better able to drive personal engagement and bolster return on investment.
3. Opening Up the Market for SMEs
As a platform with proven power to absorb viewer attention and fuel sales impact, TV has strong appeal for brands. But utilising it can be a more challenging goal for some to realise than others. Small-to-medium businesses, for example, typically work within the confines of tighter ad budgets, and primetime TV slots are seen as beyond their spending limit. Addressable, however, has changed the game by unlocking a wider pool of premium inventory.
With a better understanding of what customers and prospects are viewing, marketers can target by audience instead of solely by show. So, SMEs can purchase slots that appear within lower cost yet still high quality programming that reaches their desired viewers.
4. Enabling Efficient Measurement
Amid rising pressure to demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns, marketers need a high level of media measurability, which is exactly what addressability provides. For instance, with declared user IDs from BVOD devices, marketers can determine who viewers are and trace behaviour inspired by TV across digital channels — calculating the effect of TV ads on final outcomes, and using conclusions about what works to inform continual optimisation.
Plus, thanks to developments such as OzTAM and Nielsen’s Virtual Australia (VOZ) initiative, marketers have access to a comprehensive database of consolidated insight covering all linear and streamed regional viewing. Armed with this rich pool of data, there will now be more opportunities to achieve efficient and integrated cross-channel planning, while coordinating frequency and reach objectives across multi-media TV campaigns.
Technological advances have transformed the way we watch TV. In the new, multi-screen world, it has become increasingly difficult for marketers to balance creating engaging ads and reaching large audiences; but addressable is emerging as the key to cutting through the noise. With Australia emerging as something of an addressable pioneer, advertisers finally have the technologies and deep household-level data needed to serve personalised ads that drive response and ROI, without compromising quality or scale. By harnessing the disruption sweeping the TV landscape, they can place themselves at the forefront of a new data-based and efficient advertising era.
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Arjun has worked at Hewlett-Packard and Telstra, in addition to roles at ad tech companies such as PubMatic and Leadbolt. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Information Technology and Marketing from Charles Sturt University.
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